- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) - A former police officer in Cleveland, Mississippi, has received a three-year suspended sentence for taking money from a citizen on the pretense that he would make a traffic ticket disappear.

Attorney General Jim Hood says in a news release that 47-year-old Melvin Sparks entered an open plea to an extortion charge Thursday. That means Sparks pleaded guilty without having any guarantee of what kind of sentence he would receive.

Circuit Judge Charles E. Webster sentenced Sparks to three years in prison but suspended all three. Sparks will be under supervised probation for three years. He was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and $500 into a crime victims’ compensation fund.

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